Archive for Monday, April 30, 2012

Kansas City woman sentenced to federal prison for adoption scam

Couples from Bonner Springs, Shawnee, Leavenworth among victims

April 30, 2012

A Kansas City woman and a co-defendant have been sentenced to federal prison for running an adoption scam in which she pretended to be pregnant with twins and willing to let them be adopted in return for money and gifts, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said in a news release today.

Roxanne Janel Jones, 35, Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to 87 months. She pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud, and one count of aggravated identity theft. Taj A. Isaiah, 29, Kansas City, Mo., was sentenced to 24 months. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud.

In her plea, Jones admitted she contacted adoption agencies, claimed to be pregnant and sought to meet couples who wanted to adopt. Jones asked the couples for money for rent and other living expenses.

In her plea, Jones admitted she swindled 14 couples both locally and nationally, including a couple Bonner Springs, one from Shawnee and one from Leavenworth.

Isaiah sometimes assisted her by pretending to be her landlord. He picked up money orders and wire transfers from prospective adoptive families and he made false statements to the couples.

Jones adopted the Bonner Springs couple’s dog and then told them about her twins. They met with an attorney and a social worker in preparation for the adoption. Jones balked at giving them her Social Security number until they insisted. She shouted the number at them and they wrote it down. A check of the number showed it belong to Jones’ son. The couple sent 11 e-Money Grams to Jones totaling $830.

The Shawnee couple took Jones and Isaiah to lunch. They gave Jones a $200 gift card and a check for $525.

The Leavenworth couple gave $1,000 to an adoption agency in Overland Park, which gave $500 to Jones.

The Overland Park Police Department and the U.S. Secret Service investigated. U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley prosecuted.

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